Dear Sibylla Kiddle School Families,
Last night I had the immense pleasure of welcoming the Class of 2036 to our school. We held our annual Kindergarten Orientation evening for all of our Kindergarten students starting school for the first time this fall. Some students entered the building excited about the possibilities of what lies ahead and some showed that they are feeling a little nervous. I asked the illustrious Class of 2036 a question. I said, ‘Who likes to play?” Lots of hands went into the air. I told those students if they like to play then they are ready to learn.
The connections between play and learning are significant. I often argue that the best homework you could ever give your child is time for unstructured play. Play and exploration are at the root of creativity. Play teaches both independence and interdependence. During play, one learns how to solve both scientific and social problems. Children learn how to be active, fostering lifelong physical and mental health benefits. Play inspires curiosity, sparks new questions for learning, and fosters imagination.
With this in mind, I have three homework challenges for parents this weekend. Take time to learn about the benefits of play. Simply Google that phrase to start your research. Second, take time to interact with your children, play together, take their lead, and witness the learning process happen. Finally, step back and simply watch your child play. What can you learn about them that you didn’t know before? It’s time to play.